Don't Block The View
“For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:22-24
The apostle Paul is making it clear in his letters to the church at Corinth that ministry is all about Jesus and we are most effective when we don’t block the view. One of my favorite pastors has a list taped to his desk that he attempts to read each time he begins to study the Word of God in preparation for a sermon he will deliver. It says,
1. Think yourself empty
2. Read yourself full
3. Write yourself clear
4. Pray yourself hot
5. Be yourself, but don't preach yourself.
I appreciate that list because it helps remind me to not block the view of Jesus and to call to mind the words of John the Baptist as I prepare to teach, “I must decrease that He might increase.” A pastor friend of mine shared a story with me the other day about a church who had a very tall pastor. He was well over six feet tall, closer to seven. One Sunday when he was out of the pulpit the guest pastor was not even six feet tall. A little boy who attended church regularly with his family told his mother as the guest pastor began to speak, “Mom, I like this pastor better than our regular pastor.” The mother asked why and the boy replied, “When our regular pastor teaches I can’t see Jesus but when this pastor teaches I can see Jesus.” Obviously the little boy was referring to the Cross located directly behind pulpit with a picture resembling Christ next to it. When the tall pastor stood in the pulpit, his stature blocked the view of Christ where as the shorter pastor made it possible to see Jesus Christ from where he was seated.
That story serves as a great reminder that brings to mind a quote, “The Point of Your Life Is To Point To Him.” When you consider the meaning of your own life today what comes to mind? If someone followed you around with a camera or recorded your day on their smart phone and then uploaded in on social media for all the world to see, what would people see? Would people see, “Christ in you the hope of glory” or would you be blocking the view of Jesus Christ? A great question I am asking myself.
Jesus said we are like a light that is set upon a hill that can not be hidden and to let our lives so shine so that others can see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. If you think about it, a flashlight can’t work if the lens is blocked. A flashlight is designed to illuminate the object it is pointed at. The apostle Paul reminds us in his own words that the point of our lives is to point to Christ and he even takes it a step further in Colossians 3:1-4 as to how we can make sure we don’t block the view of Jesus. Paul writes, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Not everyone stands at a pulpit to teach the Word of God each week but we are all sending out a message to the world each day by the way we live our lives. We are either pointing others to Jesus or we are blocking the view. It’s really that simple. Jesus taught His disciples a prayer that He said they should pray when they pray. We do well to make it our daily prayer too!
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
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